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Ask a fashion editor

Yes! Hoops are a classic style that every woman—regardless of age—should own, but to pick the most flattering, consider your face shape. If you have a long or oval face, go for a larger round style; you can also choose embellished hoops. If you have a round face, an elongated hoop or
a drop style is best.

Edie Earrings,
$85, jenny-bird.ca.

Tips for hosting a fabulous Easter brunch

It’s never a bad idea to add a vegetable component to your Easter meal, to provide a counterpoint to the richness of the other dishes. Traditional salads are great, but tricky to prepare in advance; instead, try this bean and rapini salad, all of which can be prepared the night before without worrying about anything going wilty the morning of your meal.

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Image: Ronald Tsang

Classic roasted ham can take hours to cook in the oven, so to cut down on time (but without compromising on flavour), we love to use a brined, pre-cooked ham to give us a head start. It gets a honey glaze the night before, then cooks up comparatively quickly in the oven.

3. Create a craft area.

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Image: Jodi Pudge

Kids have a lot of energy in the daytime, so it’s great to have a craft area to keep them engaged and occupied. Try setting up a low table (such as a coffee table) out of the way of foot traffic, lining both the table and the floor beneath it with waterproof material to guard against spills. It also helps to have some old T-shirts or sweatshirts on hand to act as makeshift smocks. For Easter-related crafts, set them up with an egg-decorating station and get them to make these adorable strawberry eggs, or get them crafting paper Easter eggs.

4. Have a drinks station.

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Image: Maya Visnyei

Brunch can be a tricky time of day, as people are as inclined to want a mimosa (or our spin on the mimosa, the Elderflower Fizz) as they are tea or coffee. Avoid unnecessary trips back and forth to the kitchen by setting up a separate drinks station that allows your guests to help themselves. Use labels to clearly delineate the coffee, tea, and dairy options, and to alert guests if a pre-mixed drink is a cocktail or a mocktail.

5. Finish with a stunner.

Nothing rounds out the perfect Easter meal quite like a show-stopping dessert. As with the main course, it’s much easier to pull this off with something you’ve been able to prepare in advance. Just make sure to allow plenty of time (ideally a couple of hours) for your dessert to come to room temperature, and this sweet course will seem effortless.

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Image: Jodi Pudge

The best thing about this cake is how easily the steps can be broken down for preparing it in advance. The night before, layer your crepes with the filling, and cover in plastic wrap before refrigerating overnight. Save dusting with icing sugar until just before serving to prevent the sugar from dissolving.

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Image: Jeff Coulson

This cake might seem intimidating at first glance, but it’s a longtime reader favourite! Prepare your cake layers up to a week in advance and freeze them until needed. Ice the cake the night before, reserving the candy. Refrigerate until the frosting is hardened slightly before covering in cling wrap and refrigerating overnight. Bring to room temperature the following morning and top with candy just before serving.

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Image: Angus Fergusson

This layered recipe looks every bit the part of an elaborate trifle, but is easy to pull together if you’ve made the components in advance. Bake and freeze the biscuits up to a week beforehand, and make the sauce the night before. The morning of, simply layer the biscuits and sauce with freshly-whipped cream and store-bought meringues (a favourite cheat of ours) for a creamy, decadent treat that could be its own centrepiece.
 

Luscious Chocolate Pavlova

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Image: Maya Visnyei

For an elegant twist on Easter egg nests, try our chocolate pavlova cake. It features a marshmallow-like filling, and is topped with mascarpone cheese, chocolate shavings and candy-coated chocolate eggs.

The lower-body workout that will prep you for spring

Spring is finally here, which means outdoor running and power walking are back on the agenda. Nike master trainer Eva Redpath’s lower-body workout is the ultimate tune-up for legs that are ready to hustle.

Switching up your workout provides benefits like strengthening the mind-body connection. There are options for everyone—weight lifting, running, high-intensity interval training or yoga, for example—making it easy to keep your body engaged and your mind fresh.

1. DROP SQUATS
Eight to 12 reps x three sets

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Photography by Geneviève Caron | Hair and makeup by Wendy Rorong | Clothing and shoes from nike.com.

Start here
Stand with your feet together.

1. Jump out.

2. Land with your feet apart in the bottom of a squat, reaching for the floor with your right hand.

3. Jump your feet back together.

4. Repeat, alternating which hand reaches for the floor.

2. ALTERNATING SIDE LUNGE TO CURTSY
Eight to 12 reps on each side x three sets

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Photography by Geneviève Caron | Hair and makeup by Wendy Rorong | Clothing and shoes from nike.com.

Start here
Stand with your feet hip-width apart.

1. Step your left leg out to the side, lowering into a lateral lunge with your left thigh parallel to the floor.

2. Pushing off your left foot, step it back, crossing your left leg behind your right leg.  

3. Bend your knees into a curtsy with your right thigh parallel to the floor.

4. Return to the starting position. Complete the reps with your left leg before switching to your right leg.

3. REVERSE LUNGE WITH KNEE DRIVE
Eight to 12 reps on each side x three sets

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Photography by Geneviève Caron | Hair and makeup by Wendy Rorong | Clothing and shoes from nike.com.

Start here
Stand with your feet hip-width apart.

1. Step your left leg behind you, bending your knees and lowering into a reverse lunge with your right thigh parallel to the floor.

2. Keeping your weight on your right foot, Jump, driving your left knee forward.

3. Land softly on your right foot.

4. Return to the starting position. Complete the reps with your left leg before switching to your right leg.

Spring clean your relationship

The season of renewal and streamlining also comes with some re-evaluation—here’s how to apply a freshening-up attitude to your relationship.

Whether or not you’re in a good place with your romantic relationship, it’s always beneficial to take stock and think about the state of your union. We spoke to Toronto-based registered psychologist and relationship expert Nicole McCance to chat about all things fresh and renewal when it comes to you and your partner. “Spring brings new beginnings and fresh perspectives,” says McCance. “Every relationship can benefit from some spring cleaning.”

Spring cleaning your relationship doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in a bad place. It just means that this season—when you’re already in spring cleaning mode—is a great time to apply that freshening up ethos to your romantic partnership.

McCance recommends three steps if you want to take a closer look at your relationship—and reap the benefits of a little refresh.

1. Take stock of your relationship. Think about what is working well and what isn’t. “The first step to change, is awareness,” says McCance.

2. Commit to fix what’s broken. If you are feeling like something is wrong, or lacking, it’s time to address it. “Share your unmet needs with your partner,” says McCance. “Have those difficult conversations and you will likely feel closer to your partner afterwards.”

3. De-clutter your priorities. “Life gets busy and spring is the perfect time to take a look at your to-do list and make your relationship a high priority.”

Here, a few more tips to get started.

Who will benefit from some relationship thoughtfulness?

Pretty much anyone can benefit from taking a look at their relationship and thinking about what they want to improve, continue to do or change. According to McCance, even if you’re in a good place, you may want to rekindle some closeness. “Every year, it’s a good idea to take stock, and think about what is working well in your relationship and what isn’t,” says McCance. Some signs that your relationship might need something bigger than a little rekindling? If you feel disconnected from your partner, bored or lonely, you may want to take this refresh a little more seriously. 

What are some small ways to hit the refresh button?

If you’re just looking for some quick and easy ways to spend a little more quality time with your partner, there are plenty of things you can do right away. McCance recommends doing things like showering together, text each other throughout the day to let your partner know you’re thinking about them, cuddle on the couch when taking in your favourite TV show, go to bed at the same time. Fostering more connection, both physical and digital, can really make a difference in your day-to-day appreciation of your relationship. “The small things matter in any relationship,” says McCance.

Bigger actions to take?

Anything bigger than a little tweak in your day-to-day routine, involves a bit more planning—though you don’t have to take a big vacation. “Commit to weekly date nights,” says McCance. “You can take turns planning the date and surprising each other.” Being thoughtful about the planning—or better yet, plan together—to really reap the rewards of a nice event or trip. “Be creative, it doesn’t need to cost much,” says McCance. Even just going back to spots you enjoyed at the beginning of your relationship can lead to great reminiscing.

Still not feeling that refresh?

If you feel like your partner isn’t on board, instead of leading by example with small changes, you may need to be direct. “You can be more direct, but loving,” says McCance. “Share what you are grateful for and then share your needs.” If you still feel like you’re not getting anywhere, don’t be afraid to try couples therapy. “I have seen many couples fall in love again in my office,” says McCance.

Instagrammed: The best Canadian Living cakes by our readers

Our cakes have been tried and tested (and grammed!) by our lovely readers. Here are some of our favourites.

We always knew our readers were talented, but we didn’t know this talented. We’ve rounded up some of our favourite pictures of Canadian Living cakes made by our readers who snapped a pic of their stunning treat and posted on Instagram. 

Trying one of our cakes? Show us on Instagram using #CLgetcooking!

Recipe: Canada’s Best Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Recipe: The Ultimate Layered Carrot Cake

A post shared by Erika Krueger (@erika.krueger) on Apr 16, 2017 at 6:41pm PDT

Recipe: Faerie Crown Cake

Recipe: Speckled Easter Egg Chocolate Cake

A post shared by Jaimee Lynn (@jaimeelmca) on Apr 15, 2017 at 8:47pm PDT

Recipe: Speckled Easter Egg Chocolate Cake

A post shared by Isabelle Maillet (@karmicsweets) on Dec 26, 2017 at 11:41am PST

Recipe: Gingerbread Cake and Clementine Cream Cheese Icing

Recipe: Gingerbread Cake and Clementine Cream Cheese Icing

A post shared by Sylvianne Forbes (@sylforbes) on Nov 17, 2017 at 4:01am PST

Recipe: Vanilla and Coconut Birch Bark Cake

A post shared by Jay Hapuhennedige (@napa_jay) on Nov 29, 2017 at 1:05pm PST

Recipe: Vanilla and Coconut Birch Bark Cake

A post shared by @luckymecooks on May 22, 2017 at 1:39pm PDT

Recipe: Maple-Glazed Doughnut Bundt Cake

A post shared by nicole (@nikischwenger) on Apr 14, 2017 at 11:19am PDT

Recipe: The Ultimate Special Champagne Layer Cake

A post shared by Mary Moreau (@merlottricot) on Mar 14, 2017 at 6:41am PDT

Recipe: Golden Layer Cake

Instagrammed: The best Canadian Living cakes by our readers

Our cakes have been tried and tested (and grammed!) by our lovely readers. Here are some of our favourites.

We always knew our readers were talented, but we didn’t know this talented. We’ve rounded up some of our favourite pictures of Canadian Living cakes made by our readers who snapped a pic of their stunning treat and posted on Instagram. 

Trying one of our cakes? Show us on Instagram using #CLgetcooking!

Recipe: Canada’s Best Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Recipe: The Ultimate Layered Carrot Cake

A post shared by Erika Krueger (@erika.krueger) on Apr 16, 2017 at 6:41pm PDT

Recipe: Faerie Crown Cake

Recipe: Speckled Easter Egg Chocolate Cake

A post shared by Jaimee Lynn (@jaimeelmca) on Apr 15, 2017 at 8:47pm PDT

Recipe: Speckled Easter Egg Chocolate Cake

A post shared by Isabelle Maillet (@karmicsweets) on Dec 26, 2017 at 11:41am PST

Recipe: Gingerbread Cake and Clementine Cream Cheese Icing

Recipe: Gingerbread Cake and Clementine Cream Cheese Icing

A post shared by Sylvianne Forbes (@sylforbes) on Nov 17, 2017 at 4:01am PST

Recipe: Vanilla and Coconut Birch Bark Cake

A post shared by Jay Hapuhennedige (@napa_jay) on Nov 29, 2017 at 1:05pm PST

Recipe: Vanilla and Coconut Birch Bark Cake

A post shared by @luckymecooks on May 22, 2017 at 1:39pm PDT

Recipe: Maple-Glazed Doughnut Bundt Cake

A post shared by nicole (@nikischwenger) on Apr 14, 2017 at 11:19am PDT

Recipe: The Ultimate Special Champagne Layer Cake

A post shared by Mary Moreau (@merlottricot) on Mar 14, 2017 at 6:41am PDT

Recipe: Golden Layer Cake